A Spatially Constrained Probabilistic Model for Robust Image Segmentation

Article Type

Research Article

Publication Title

IEEE Transactions on Image Processing


In general, the hidden Markov random field (HMRF) represents the class label distribution of an image in probabilistic model based segmentation. The class label distributions provided by existing HMRF models consider either the number of neighboring pixels with similar class labels or the spatial distance of neighboring pixels with dissimilar class labels. Also, this spatial information is only considered for estimation of class labels of the image pixels, while its contribution in parameter estimation is completely ignored. This, in turn, deteriorates the parameter estimation, resulting in sub-optimal segmentation performance. Moreover, the existing models assign equal weightage to the spatial information for class label estimation of all pixels throughout the image, which, create significant misclassification for the pixels in boundary region of image classes. In this regard, the paper develops a new clique potential function and a new class label distribution, incorporating the information of image class parameters. Unlike existing HMRF model based segmentation techniques, the proposed framework introduces a new scaling parameter that adaptively measures the contribution of spatial information for class label estimation of image pixels. The importance of the proposed framework is depicted by modifying the HMRF based segmentation methods. The advantage of proposed class label distribution is also demonstrated irrespective of the underlying intensity distributions. The comparative performance of the proposed and existing class label distributions in HMRF model is demonstrated both qualitatively and quantitatively for brain MR image segmentation, HEp-2 cell delineation, natural image and object segmentation.

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Open Access, Green